GREAT FALLS — Governor Greg Gianforte on Monday, January 10, 2022, announced that the state of Montana will increase firefighter pay in order to "support, recruit, and retain the highly-qualified, highly-trained personnel who protect Montana communities and natural resources."
Seasonal firefighters in Montana will see a compensation increase of $1.70 per hour, which brings the minimum base pay to $15.50 per hour.
A news release from Gianforte's office says the wage increase marks the first major pay adjustment of its kind for the seasonal firefighting workforce of Montana.
“Montana’s wildland firefighters are some of the most important and necessary personnel serving our state, especially with recent, more severe fire seasons,” Gianforte said. “This well-deserved pay increase will help ensure our wildland firefighters remain the most skilled and mission capable firefighting workforce in the region.”
The news release says that the new wage makes the state competitive and equitable with other fire protection agencies in the region.
Amanda Kaster, director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, said, “It is more important than ever that we modernize our firefighting workforce to effectively address the challenges we face during these unprecedented fire seasons. I’m proud that DNRC will offer higher pay during the upcoming season to the hardworking firefighters that continue to protect Montana lives, communities, and natural resources.”
U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) said in a news release: “I am glad to see Governor Gianforte take the lead to offer our brave wildland firefighters a much deserved pay raise. Our wildland firefighters put their lives on the line to protect our families and communities from deadly wildfires – this raise will help show our firefighters how grateful we are for their service.”
The wage increase has been implemented for the current seasonal hiring effort.